WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2015
dis•tin•guish /dɪˈstɪŋgwɪʃ/USA pronunciation   v. 
  1. to mark off as different;
    show a difference[+ object + from + object]His height distinguishes him from the other boys.
  2. to recognize as distinct or different: [+ between + object]I couldn't distinguish between some of the French vowels.[+ object + from + object]Can you distinguish right from wrong?
  3. to perceive or sense clearly by the senses; recognize[+ object]Without my glasses I can't distinguish certain signs on the road.
  4. to set apart as different;
    characterize[+ object]Her Italian accent distinguishes her.
  5. to make prominent or eminent[+ oneself]He distinguished himself in the arts.
dis•tin•guish•a•ble, adj. See -stin-.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2015
dis•tin•guish  (di stinggwish), 
  1. to mark off as different (often fol. by from or by):He was distinguished from the other boys by his height.
  2. to recognize as distinct or different; recognize the salient or individual features or characteristics of:It is hard to distinguish her from her twin sister.
  3. to perceive clearly by sight or other sense;
    recognize:He could not distinguish many of the words.
  4. to set apart as different; be a distinctive characteristic of;
    characterize:It is his Italian accent that distinguishes him.
  5. to make prominent, conspicuous, or eminent:to distinguish oneself in battle.
  6. to divide into classes; classify:Let us distinguish the various types of metaphor.
  7. [Archaic.]to single out for or honor with special attention.

  1. to indicate or show a difference (usually fol. by between).
  2. to recognize or note differences;
  • Latin distinguere; see distinct
  • Anglo-French, Middle French distinguer)
  • extension, by -ish2, of Middle English disting(u)en ( 1555–65
dis•tinguish•a•ble, adj. 
dis•tinguish•a•ble•ness, dis•tin′guish•a•bili•ty, n. 
dis•tinguish•a•bly, adv. 
dis•tinguish•er, n. 
dis•tinguish•ment, n. 
2 . Distinguish, differentiate, discriminate suggest an attempt to analyze characteristic features or qualities of things. To distinguish is to recognize the characteristic features belonging to a thing:to distinguish a light cruiser from a heavy cruiser.To discriminate is to perceive the particular, nice, or exact differences between things, to determine wherein these differences consist, and to estimate their significance:to discriminate prejudiced from unprejudiced testimony.To differentiate is to point out exactly and in detail the differences between (usually) two things:The symptoms of both diseases are so similar that it is hard to differentiate one from another. 2 . confuse.

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

distinguish /dɪˈstɪŋɡwɪʃ/ vb (mainly tr)
  1. when intr, followed by between or among: to make, show, or recognize a difference or differences (between or among); differentiate (between)
  2. to be a distinctive feature of; characterize
  3. to make out; perceive
  4. to mark for a special honour or title
  5. to make (oneself) noteworthy
  6. to classify; categorize
Etymology: 16th Century: from Latin distinguere to separate, discriminate

disˈtinguishable adj disˈtinguishing adj

'distinguishable' also found in these entries:

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